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The Power of $7M: How Companies Can Make a Lasting Impact with Their Super Bowl Ad Budget

This article was originally published in Sustainable Brands.

Directing $7M to improving lives instead of selling products sends a powerful message of hope and generosity to millions of Super Bowl fans.

The cost of a 30-second advertisement during the Super Bowl has risen about half a million since last year, to $7 million in 2023. With consumers increasingly making purchasing decisions based on their own values and beliefs, companies might consider the impact of that $7 million on causes and issues that matter to their stakeholders.

Using the price of a Super Bowl ad spot to affect change in the world is not without precedent. In 2021, Budweiser sat out the Super Bowl — spending its ad budget instead on donations and future PSAs to support COVID-19 vaccine awareness. That same year, Planters — the company behind Mr. Peanut — redirected its $5 million Super Bowl commercial budget to people doing charitable acts. The car company Kia also followed suit, using its Super Bowl funds to expand the company’s ongoing work to support youth education and end youth homelessness.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the cost of admission for advertisers to the Super Bowl begins at about $10 million — which includes the purchase of the ad slot, the production costs required for a high-profile campaign and paying an A-list star (or three or four). It’s hard to imagine just how impactful the price of a single, 30-second Super Bowl commercial could be to a nonprofit organization or cause. That’s why, for the past several years, we've asked nonprofits what they would do with money that would otherwise go to Super Bowl commercials. This year, we’re continuing to challenge companies to consider how they could use their Super Bowl commercial budget to make a lasting impact.

So, what exactly can be done through the power of $7 million?

Action Against Hunger could treat 140,000 malnourished children with a life-saving, proven treatment regimen.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America could match over 4,600 at-risk youth with a reliable mentor or positive role model.

The Bridge Project could help more than 2,300 mothers break the cycle of poverty with three months of guaranteed income.

Feeding America and No Kid Hungry could provide 70 million meals to those experiencing food insecurity through their food bank network.

Give Directly could help lift 14,500 people across the globe above poverty over the course of a year.

Habitat for Humanity could upgrade 1,166 homes with energy-efficiency grants or add solar panel solutions to 350 homes.

RAIIN could educate 4.2 billion people about preventing sexual violence.

Shatterproof could expand the Shatterproof Treatment Atlas across the United States to guide 46 million people struggling with substance-use disorder to the right type of quality addiction treatment.

Soles 4 Souls could serve 350,000 kids experiencing homelessness with new sneakers.

UNICEF could provide school supplies to 87,500 kids in Ukraine.

Investing $7 million to improve lives instead of sell products would send a powerful message of hope and generosity to the millions of people watching the Super Bowl.


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